Day 1: Across the Indian ocean

“I have to remind myself that some birds aren’t meant to be caged… their feathers are just too bright. And when they fly away, the part of you that knew it was a sin to lock them up does rejoice.”

– “Red” on Andy Dufresne in The Shawshank Redemption

I remember my flight back to Bangalore after a 21 day journey around India in June 2009. The feeling of having completed a full circle. The feeling of having achieved my dream. But now when I look back at those moments, I realize that it was just the beginning of a much larger dream. What I thought would quench my thirst for travel, never happened, but rather fueled it up further.

“A bright warm summer afternoon”, I wondered as I got down at the Alwaye station. It is here that I am to meet my travel mate, Siva Harsha. Siva is my batchmate in TAPMI and was interested in doing this trip with me right from when I had posted my plan. “I have no problem, Berty… I will just follow you”, said Siva when I told him about my style of travelling filled with uncertainties and other hardships.

We met just outside the railway station and after a hearty Kerala food, we started off to the airport. As we started chatting, I realised that he had no clue about the places that we are planning to visit in the next few days. “I don’t want to expect anything, Berty. I want to be surprised.”, said Siva in his usual tone. Even though I wanted to use public transport in my usual way, we finally took an auto to get to the Cochin airport. I wanted to take a few snaps in the airport but was refused to do so by the security when I asked for permission. Anyways, nothing extraordinary in the airport, I thought as did the old fox on the grapes he couldn’t reach. Siva had some issues with the customs as he had a passport issued from a different state from that of the departure airport. As it got cleared, we waited for our flight and soon we were boarding to mark the beginning of our trip. We took off on time and as I settled down in my seat, the feeling of getting back on a travel started in my mind. I knew this trip would be different from what I have done before in lot many ways. The unknown language, lack of proper travel research as I was quite busy in the last couple of months all add up to the list of challenges ahead. But whatever it may bring, I know that I will enjoy this trip a lot.

As we were flying East, I was witnessing the fastest sunset and in a matter of minutes, it was dark. They say that in order to counter jet lag, one needs to sleep as much as possible onboard while flying west to east. But sleep never comes to me while travelling, especially in a sitting position. So there was nothing much I could do except for listening to my iPod. It was past 9.00pm when the stewardess announced the descent. To avoid the time difference goof up as in Bhutan last summer, I set my watch immediately ahead by 2.5hrs. So it is now past 11.30pm and that is almost the end of Day 1. Will keep you all posted everyday as I move along in the coming days. Based on the feedback from the travelogues of the last trip, I have decided to add the daily costs at the end of every travelogues. This will be on an “as used” basis so as to include pre-booked expenses like flight, visa costs also. In short, this will include every expense that I incur except shopping.

With lot of expectations, I near my first destination of the trip.

Day 1 expense: Rs 3051
Total: Rs 3051

Location: Somewhere over the Indian ocean

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Day 8: A mad rush to Bangalore

“Once you have traveled, the voyage never ends, but is played out over and over again in the quietest chambers....